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HomeNewsBathurstHDT SPORTS SEDAN RACED BY BROCK TO APPEAR AT BATHURST 1000

HDT SPORTS SEDAN RACED BY BROCK TO APPEAR AT BATHURST 1000

AN iconic Sports Sedan is the latest car to join a special display marking Repco’s 100th anniversary at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

One of the Holden Dealer Team’s stunning V8-engined Torana Sports Sedans will form part of the ‘Repco in Motorsport’ exhibition at the National Motor Racing Museum as the company continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Sports Sedan racing was one of Australian motorsport’s fastest growing categories in the 1970s, with big name drivers, and fast, spectacular sedan-based cars proving popular with fans and promoters, whose circuits offered big prizemoney for their races.

Many top cars of the era featured sedan-based bodies underpinned by open-wheel design philosophies and fitted with powerful engines – in many cases, with the popular five-litre Repco-Holden V8.

The HDT dipped its toe into the category with ‘The Beast’ – one of the team’s old LJ Torana rally cars with a Repco-Holden V8 shoehorned into the driver’s compartment – before building this second, more sophisticated LH Torana.

Bond at the wheel during the car’s race debut at Sandown in 1976. Pic: an1images.com / Ian Smith

Although this Torana raced under the banner of the HDT, the car was built by Colin Bond’s crew in Sydney rather than by Harry Firth in Melbourne, with the car devised by talented engineer Henry Nehrybecki, who sadly passed away in June 2021. George Smith, later of Dencar fame, was also involved in the car’s build.

The car made its race debut in mid-1976 but the rapid evolution of the category meant it was soon eclipsed by rival machines that were effectively F5000 chassis fitted with sedan bodies. The Torana moved to Melbourne for 1977-1978 and was run mostly by new HDT recruit Ron Harrop, while Peter Brock drove the car in its final race appearance with the HDT in 1978.

Brock retired from the car’s final race with the HDT at the 1978 round of the Australian Sports Sedan Championship. Pic: an1images.com / Ian Smith

Subsequent owners continued to campaign the machine in Sports Sedan races for the next decade including category stalwart Des Wall. In 2012, Wall and his son, fellow racer David Wall, embarked on a restoration of the car, although sadly Des passed away prior to the car’s completion in time for the 2013 Muscle Car Masters.

The car is the third to be announced for the ‘Repco in Motorsport’ exhibition, joining Sir Jack Brabham’s 1966 Formula 1 World Championship-winning Brabham BT19 and a restored Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR that raced to victory in Repco colours.

More cars will be revealed in the lead up to this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, held on October 6-9, 2022.

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